Hawaii Mesothelioma Lawyer
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is diagnosed in 2,000 to 3,000 people each year in the United States. Mesothelioma affects the protective lining and sac (the mesothelium) around the organs in the body. The mesothelium protects the organs when they move, such as when the heart beats or the lungs expand and contract.
Mesothelioma causes the cells of the mesothelium to develop abnormally and divide rapidly and out of control. As the cancer becomes more advanced, it can spread to other regions of the body.
What happens when mesothelioma occurs?
When mesothelioma occurs the cells of the mesothelium develop abnormally. There are three parts of the mesothelium in which this typically can occur: the pleura, which is the mesothelium in the chest cavity; the peritoneum, which is the mesothelium in the abdominal cavity; and the pericardium, which is the mesothelium around the heart.
What can lead to mesothelioma?
Asbestos exposure is the leading risk of developing mesothelioma. Asbestos is a group of fibers that occur naturally; it is also found in a number of products that are manufactured, as well as in building materials, as well as other materials. Many industries have used asbestos in products that must be resistant to heat or fire-proof because asbestos is naturally heat resistant and a fire-retardant.
The fibers of asbestos do not break down well – they do not dissolve in water, evaporate in air, or break down in soil. When people work around products that have asbestos in them, and dust is created, they breathe in or ingest the asbestos. This may occur, for example, in construction when buildings or parts of buildings are demolished, or when auto mechanics work on customers' break systems. The body will try to rid itself of the asbestos, causing a person to cough or swallow when it is breathed in. By coughing, some asbestos fibers will be eliminated. In addition, there are long, thin asbestos fibers still present that are more challenging for the body to get rid of. These fibers may become stuck in the lungs and end up penetrating the walls of the lungs and the chest area. This can cause damage to the mesothelium and may lead to the development of mesothelioma.
Who may be at risk for developing mesothelioma?
People who have worked in industries that use products containing asbestos, or who mine asbestos, may be at risk for developing mesothelioma. Also, people who work in buildings that were constructed using materials that contain a great deal of asbestos, such as schools, may be at risk for exposure and the development of mesothelioma. Industries and occupations that may be associated with long-term asbestos exposure include, but are not limited to: construction, automotive, auto mechanics, firefighters, electricians, tile setters, U.S. Navy veterans, welders, plumbers, oil refinery workers, merchant marines, iron workers, hairdressers, and teachers. In Hawaii, one particular occupation that may put an estimated 10,000 people at risk for asbestos exposure is shipyards.
In addition, people who live with individuals at risk of asbestos exposure because of their jobs may also be at risk. Asbestos dust brought in on clothes, shoes, accessories, or other items may end up contaminating the air in a home, where it can be breathed by other individuals living there.
What do you do if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma it is important that you are well informed both medically and legally. It is recommended that you speak with an attorney in Hawaii whose primary focus is mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. He or she will be familiar with the laws surrounding it, as well as what is necessary to make a viable claim.
Mesothelioma cases are often focused on product liability, workers' compensation, premises liability, and economic property loss. They may be challenging cases to establish and put together, but if your mesothelioma is linked to exposure from your job or products that you have used, you may have a right to compensation.
Speak with a lawyer who can help guide you through the legal process and work to obtain compensation for your medical expenses and the anguish you may have experienced as a result of your illness.
Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information
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